On February 12 in NYR history: Walt Tkaczuk assists 5 times

NEW YORK, NY - 1972: Stan Mikita #21 of the Chicago Blackhawks and Walt Tkzczuk #18 of the New York Rangers follow the puck circa 1972 at the Madison Square Garden in New York, New York. (Photo by Melchior DiGiacomo/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - 1972: Stan Mikita #21 of the Chicago Blackhawks and Walt Tkzczuk #18 of the New York Rangers follow the puck circa 1972 at the Madison Square Garden in New York, New York. (Photo by Melchior DiGiacomo/Getty Images) /

What happened on February 12 in the history of the New York Rangers

On this date in 1972, Walt Tkaczuk had five assists in one game to set a franchise record.  Since Tkaczuk set the record, Rangers have reached it seven times, but never had more. Most recently, Adam Fox had five assists in a game against the Philadelphia Flyers last March.

While Tkaczuk set a Rangers record, It wasn’t an NHL record.  Billy Taylor of the Red Wings set the NHL record with seven assists in 1947.

When Tkaczuk did it he was one of 23 NHL players to reach the five assist mark. The NHL record is still seven, reached three times by Wayne Gretzky with the Oilers.

As for the Rangers, besides Adam Fox, Tkaczuk has been joined in the franchise record book by Rod Gilbert (three times), Brian Leetch, Don Maloney and Gretzky.

A shorthanded NHL record

On this date in 1935, Cecil Dillon became the first NHL player to score two shorthanded goals in one game.  He did it on the road  in a 5-1 win over the St. Louis Eagles, netting a hat trick as well.  No only did Dillon set an individual record, but when Murray Murdoch scored a shorthanded goal in the third period, the Rangers became the first team in league history to register three in one game.

The Rangers team record stood for 60 years until 1995 when the Winnipeg Jets scored shorthanded four times.  As for Dillon’s record,  it was matched within three years and it was broken by Theo Fleury of Calgary who scored three shorthanded in a game in 1991.

Two shorthanded goals in a game has been achieved 142 times since Cecil Dillon did it the first time including eight times by other New York Rangers. Don Maloney had two shorties in a game three times.

A road hat trick first

In 1972 on this date, Brad Park scored the first road hat trick by a New York Rangers defenseman in an 8-3 win in Pittsburgh.  Earlier in the season, Park had become the first Ranger defenseman to score three goals in a game.

Park had one more road hat trick in his Rangers career and he was joined by Ron Greschner in 1978 as the only blueliners to do it on the road.

Hello Columbus

On this date in 2001, the Rangers played for the first time in Columbus, Ohio as they took on the expansion Blue Jackets, winning 4-3.  The Rangers were not strangers to the state of Ohio as they had played in Cleveland when the Barons were in the NHL, but they had last played in Cleveland in December 1977.

The Rangers have played 22 games at Nationwide Arena with a 12-10 record.

A road win record

On this date in 1935, the Rangers won their seventh straight road win, at the time, tying the NHL record set by the Montreal Maroons in 1926-27.   The 1978-79 team tied the record and it was broken in 2020 when the Rangers won nine road games in a row.

That’s still three wins shy of the NHL record of 12 road wins in a row set by the 2005-06 Detroit Red Wings and tied by the 2014-15 Minnesota Wild.

Today’s birthdays

28 NHL players have been born on February 12 including three former Blueshirts.

Michel Petit was a defenseman born on this date in 1964 in  St-Malo, Quebec. He had a long NHL career, playing 16 seasons for 10 different teams including two years with the Rangers.  A first round pick of the Vancouver Canucks, he was traded to the Rangers in 1987.  He had two successful seasons in New York, but was swapped to Quebec for Randy Moller in 1989.

Rico Fata was born on this date in 1980 in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.  The right winger was claimed on waivers from Calgary by the Rangers in 2001, he split his time between New York and Hartford, playing 46 games for the Rangers, scoring two goals.  They traded him to Pittsburgh in 2003

Mike Robitaille was a defenseman, born on February 12, 1948 in Midland, Ontario. Undrafted, he made his debut in New York in the 1969-70 season, playing four games.  After 11 games the next season, he was traded to the Detroit Red Wings for Bruce MacGregor.  He went on to play seven more seasons in the NHL.

The numbers

The Blueshirts have played 39 games on February 12 with a .564 points percentage, mostly because of their 4-1 record in games that have been decided in overtime.

Games: 39
Regulation wins: 16
Regulation losses: 15
Ties: 3
Overtime wins: 3
Overtime losses: 1
Shootout wins: 1
Points percentage: .564

More. Kakko out a month. light